Steady meteorological conditions are important external factors affecting air pollution. In order to analyze how adverse meteorological variables affect air pollution, surface synoptic situation patterns and meteorological conditions during heavy pollution episodes are discussed. The results showed that there were 78 RPHPDs (regional PM2.5
pollution days) in Jiangsu, with a decreasing trend year by year. Winter had the most stable meteorological conditions, thus most RPHPDs appeared in winter, followed by autumn and summer, with the least days in spring. RPHPDs were classified into three patterns, respectively, as equalized pressure (EQP), advancing edge of a cold front (ACF) and inverted trough of low pressure (INT) according to the SLP (sea level pressure). RPHPDs under EQP were the most (51%), followed by ACF (37%); INT was the minimum (12%). Using statistical methods and meteorological condition data on RPHPDs from 2013 to 2017 to deduce the thresholds and 2018 as an independent dataset to validate the proposed thresholds, the threshold values of meteorological elements are summarized as follows. The probability of RPHPDs without rain was above 92% with the daily and hourly precipitation of all RPHPDs below 2.1 mm and 0.8 mm. Wind speed, RHs, inversion intensity(ITI), height difference in the temperature inversion(ITK), the lower height of temperature inversion (LHTI) and mixed-layer height (MLH) in terms of 25%–75% high probability range were respectively within 0.5–3.6 m s−1
, 55%–92%, 0.7–4.0 °C 100 m −1
, 42–576 m, 3–570 m, 200–1200 m. Two conditions should be considered: whether the pattern was EQP, ACF or INT and whether the eight meteorological elements are within the thresholds. If both criteria are met, PM2.5
particles tend to accumulate and air pollution diffusion conditions are poor. Unfavorable meteorological conditions are the necessary, but not sufficient condition for RPHPDs.
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